Barrio Boy

Salinas Valley tragedy

In the wake of a bus crash in the Salinas Valley in September 1963 that claimed the lives of 32 braceros, Galarza was appointed to investigate the tragedy by Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor of the U.S. House of Representatives. His report, published by the committee in April 1964,[6] found that the accident was directly caused by negligence, exemplifying a practice in which flatbed trucks were illegally converted to buses, driven by poorly trained personnel. With safety officials and regulators indifferent to the situation, and businesses showing disregard for human life, he found that the accident had been inevitable. [7][8] He wrote a book on the accident, Tragedy at Chualar (1977).


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